People are being encouraged to submit nominations for their favourite tree to compete in the annual Tree of the Year award.
The competition run by the Woodland Trust asks people in England, Scotland and Wales to put forward much-loved trees that are visually stunning, a beacon of hope in uncertain times or a specimen with a great backstory.
The Tree of the Year contest is now in its seventh year, and while last year’s winners were all ancient or veteran trees, the Woodland Trust said nominations of any age or species of tree are welcome.
Naomi Tilley, lead campaigner for the Woodland Trust said: “Tree of the Year has helped discover and celebrate lots of incredible trees across the nations.
“This year during lockdown, when many are appreciating local green space more than ever before, we hope to uncover some local tree treasures.
“The UK has some of the most remarkable trees in the world – and often they’re found in someone’s back garden.
“We need the public’s support to find them, nominate them and vote for a winner.”
But the Trust also said that, in line with Government advice, it discourages non-essential travel and asks people not to drive to photograph a tree for nomination.
Winning trees will benefit from a tree care award of up to £1,000 thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, which can be used to help its health, put up a sign about it or have a community celebration.
Shortlisted trees in need of support are also eligible for a £500 care award.
Nominations must be in by June 29, and entries will then be shortlisted by a panel of independent experts before facing a public vote later in the year.
The winner of Tree of the Year 2020 will represent the UK in the battle for European Tree of the Year in March 2021.
Sanjay Singh, senior programmes manager with People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “We’d like to encourage communities across Britain to get involved with the 2020 Tree of the Year competition and look forward to discovering amazing trees with wonderful stories.”
He said players of the People’s Postcode Lottery were supporting the search for the nation’s most special trees, with money available to directly benefit the long term health of those specimens that need it the most.
To nominate a tree and share its story, people or organisations can visit: www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/treeoftheyear/